National Institutes of Health (NIH) Awards Contract to Flora Research Laboratories to Study Benzene Contamination Issue in Consumer Products

Grants Pass, Oregon, April 13, 2006—In the growing wake of evidence surfacing regarding the benzene contamination issue in carbonated beverages and other foods, the Office of Dietary Supplements at NIH today awarded Flora Research Laboratories a contract to develop an analytical method for testing consumer products including dietary supplements for benzene contamination.

James Neal-Kababick, the Laboratory Director at FRL is the lead investigator in the project. Neal-Kababick is recognized as a top expert in analytical method development and validation. Following preliminary research in the laboratory, Neal-Kababick raised concerns about the current validity of analytical testing methodology in use at FDA and private laboratories that are testing for benzene residues. “We have demonstrated in the laboratory under controlled conditions that some test protocols in use today can form benzene during analysis” says Neal-Kababick.

The project is a joint effort between Flora Research Laboratories and Jana Hildreth from Blaze Science Industries, LLC who will be coordinating the study.

Responding to the crisis, FRL is developing a novel analytical method that will control benzene formation in the laboratory and allow for more accurate measurements of benzene in consumer products.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), after examining many scientific studies, concluded that benzene does cause cancer in humans. For this reason, it is critical that a valid scientific testing method be developed to monitor the exposure consumers receive from foods, beverages and dietary supplements.

For further information, contact Jana Hildreth at 310-920-4517

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